Monday, July 28, 2008

Haiti State National Exam Results, Sponsors for University, Med School

Hello Everyone,

Last night we had rain and electricity arrive in tandem. They each visited for approximately four hours, losing intensity before they finally bid us good bye. It took electricity (kouran) four tries to grab hold, the thunder (loraj) rumbled all day with promises.

If you have read the new page on the website 'A day in the life' [new page - see Cap Haitien Haiti News], you know something of our daily quest for ice in the absence of hydro. Yesterday all our ice was melted, so I phoned Jackson (our cab driver -- he is treated like staff although he calls me his mother). We made the trip to Champin to get ice only to be told 'glas-la fini net' (no ice).

A kind gentleman waiting to check out his purchases asked me what I did, how long had I been doing it, did I like the country. He then suggested we go to the ice making factory in Morn Rouge if we were desperate. We were.

Following his directions, we arrived after a 30 minute trip over the wonderful Rout Nasyonal. We checked in with two armed guards, arrived at the plant and were greeted by yet another well-armed guard. After an hour wait, our precious ice arrived. Nothing is easy.

Re: State National Exam results Sen Rafayel:
By Friday we had heard from all our students in Sen Rafayel. Of the 5 who wrote Philo in Sen Rafayel, ALL WERE ADMI. Bon. Everyone passed! This is such a BIG THING. These are kids who eat maybe once a week, have never had a bath or shower, no access to clean water, never been to a dentist, live in misery you cannot imagine. Yet they wrote the same exams as the wealthy and well-fed, and passed!

State National Exam results Grand Riviere du Nord:
Plenitude was also successful. As I said on the website, he had come on Friday full of joy at his success and sorrow as his dad had died Monday. He lives a fair distance but I kept him on as he was one of the first children I met 10 years ago. In primary school, he walked 4 hours a day to attend school. Since his high school is in Grand Riviere du Nord, he would periodically borrow a neighbour's cell phone to touch base with us. He said Friday it was our presence that gave him the courage to go on every day. Although he couldn't get here physically, whenever he called, Auguste was there to provide encouragement (li te ankouraje-li).

A similar exam results scenario in Cap-Haitien.
From about 75 percent of our kids in Cap Haitien. Osner just arrived from Lycee Boukman, grinning from ear to ear. He has had most of the teeth on the right side of his mouth pulled, so he looks like a little old man. He was also 'bon/admi' for Philo (7th and last year of high school). Auguste is beaming! He tutored most of these kids throughout the year. We had 100 percent success in Philo in both Sen Rafayel and Cap-Haitien! We are 10 for 10! Absolutely UNHEARD of!!

Out of the 10 who wrote Rheto, we had one ajoune in Sen Rafayel and 2 in Okap (Cap-Haitien). That means they were close enough to a pass that they rewrite for 3 days beginning August 11. Only one did not pass, Martha whom I mentioned (nursed her brother through 2 major illnesses. HE passed.) The other 6 were admi/bon.

This is a brilliant achievement!
I am in awe of these kids. These young people are the ones who will change their country IF given the 'soutyen' (support). If they don't receive it, yet another generation wastes away. And what a perfect birthday gift for Starthrower's birthday celebration!

Currently we have 2 students in second year university in Limbe (Agriculture), two beginning pre-med in the Dominican Republic (and they had to pass Spanish language fluency classes first!), and one in second year medical technology. Four of these have sponsors. Of the nine new grads, 3 want to study agriculture, one to enter nursing, two to study medicine, two to study master mechanic at university in Port-au-Prince, one to study for kindergarten teacher in Cap-Haitien.
  • Osner wants to study engineering. Maybe a group of engineers will sponsor him along with Danius and Johnley.
  • Maybe the nurses federation will support Brunie
  • Maybe the medical association will pick up Alland and Wisky
  • Maybe the teachers federation will sponsor Rosenie for teaching kindergarten
  • Maybe the agriculture association will sponsor Plenitude, Lebrun and Gabriel
  • Maybe the medical technologists assoc. will pick up Micheline.
Could happen!! If you know anyone in these associations, please pass this blog post on to them. These young people have gotten to the upost-secondary stage with your support, and can only succeed with your support.

Speaking of support, we are very grateful for the boxes which were delivered this week from Pennsylvania. Thank you Mme Cindy and company (Mme Paula also I suspect?) The protein powder will be put to use this week after we make our peanut butter.

All for now -- I need to switch solar to the fridge.

Beni-w (blessings)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Trip to Santiago DR, Exam Results Due, and Obits

Hello Everyone,

Still no electricity (since first week of July) but finally got on internet server with solar power. Hot and humid -- much thunder, no rain relief.

Last week was a time of sorrow for us . . .
Two of the young people on our waiting list died. Claudy (student and staff member in Sen Rafayel) lost two family members on the same day. Tayo, his 14 year old cousin, had been living with Claudy and his mom since both his parents died in 2006. Claudy had been scraping together the money out of his meager salary to help Tayo complete primary school, and he was waiting for exam results to start high school.

Tayo was very hungry, so he climbed a mango tree to shake loose the last stubborn pieces of fruit. He fell and was dead upon arrival at local clinic. Claudy's uncle died the same day. He was 30 years old, married with 2 small children. He had been bitten by an unidentified insect (ti bet); his body swelled to twice normal, and he died in great pain. There was no coffin or clothing large enough to accommodate. Claudy is now responsible for paying for both funerals.

Paulaine is one of our girls studying sewing (kouti). Her sister, Marie-Djazmeen was 17. She died of unidentified illness. The symptoms were swollen feet and difficulty breathing. She was also waiting for state results to begin high school. She wanted to be a nurse.

It was also a week of adventure.
Elorge and Marlene travelled to Santiago, Dominican Republic to to write entrance exams to study medicine. They had a day of written exams and a day of orals, to judge Spanish fluency. Both were accepted and arrived back here yesterday exhausted and elated.

They were in awe at the size of the university campus and at the equipment in the lab for students. University regulations now require a transcript for every year of high school so they immediately headed for Sen Rafayel to acquire the necessary papers. Then it's back to Santiago for final registration and find reasonable housing.

Exam Results Due
State results for Philo and Rheto are being posted today so we should know by this weekend who passed (admi), who has to write again in August (ajoune) and who will repeat the year (elimine).

Special thanks to Jackie McV. and all her guests in Ontario, who celebrated Jackie's 60th birthday with a combined party and fundraiser for Starthrower. What a great idea! Thanks one and all!

Auguste has added a new installment to the Haiti Culture page.

Plis pi ta (more later)


If anyone is fundraising for tuition and school supplies for the end of August, please let us know.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Haiti Life - Phones, Animals, Sen Rafayel Clinic, Text Book Program

Hello Everyone!

Thanks for the response to the column Auguste is writing on Haiti life for the website. He was "byen kontan" to receive emails especially as they were in English and afforded him practice opportunities. Hope you have had the opportunity to read it, and exclaim over the creative genius of our webmaster. What Auguste neglected to mention was that last year when he studied and successfully passed state exams for Philo, he worked full time for us, choosing to attend school each day from 3-8 p.m.

Long time listener, First time Caller . . .
Sometimes you have to laugh. Friday morning Joceline was getting ready to go to the laundromat, so Auguste continued her How to use a Cell Phone instruction. He has the patience of Job! To give Joceline some practice in using the cell phone, he asked her to call Jack, who was working out in the corner of the yard getting the patio ready for use as a work station for the text book recycling program. When Jack's phone rang, he answered. Joceline seemed to get a case of stage fright, as she spoke in a whisper so he had no idea who was calling him.

Joceline seemed slightly fearful of the whole cell phone operation, so she passed the phone to Auguste, who explained to Jack that they were practicing. Everyone laughed, then hung up. Then Joceline called Dieugrand', who was working in the garden, and the same activity ensued. Then Joceline rang the Digicel phone in the house, and Auguste answered. Then she called the other house phone. As Joceline was gaining confidence in this cell phone business, Auguste and I asked her to phone Jackson, the taxi driver.

But when Jackson answered his phone, Joceline reverted back to whispering. By this time, everyone was laughing, including Joceline. When she returned from the laundromat, having successfully laundered everything and then phoned Jackson for pick up, she was feeling very proud of herself. What a difference from 5 or 6 years ago when there were no cell phones and I was walking downtown to Teleco central to phone Canada!

About Joceline
If you have been following our blogs, you may recall that Joceline is a widow with 7 children. Auguste taught her how to read and print her name last year. Imagine the challenges she has faced and overcome in performing what we consider routine tasks, such as setting dials on washers and driers, and scrolling through a cell phone address book!

These are all foreign activities to her and she is only just beginning to use her new reading skills. What a trooper! I think the way the staff here support each other is one of the reasons our young people like to visit. This warm welcome and support is extended to everyone who enters.

Animal Kingdom, Haiti Style
This morning I received my usual 4 a.m. wake up calls from the roosters and cats. As I wrote to a friend earlier this week, I have been trying to train the roosters to provide a 5 a.m. wake up call, but they are stubborn old birds. So, after half an hour of yoga and meditation under the mosquito net, I got up, and fed the cats, then began to fill the pots with water to boil. Then the screech of the pentads (guinea fowl) began -- more stubborn old birds!

For some reason, pentads like our cat food and I spent the next ten minutes chasing them out of the food and trying to send them back to their yard, clapping my hands (pretty tricky with my wonky left wrist) and calling out in Kreyol (guinea fowl don't speak English, nor do the roosters or the cats). Every time I stopped clapping and calling out, they came up to me honking in their unique way. The thought crossed my mind that this was a very undignified start to my 63rd birthday. No respect from any of them.

Sen Rafayel clinic, text book program
On a more serious note, Soeur Ginette came to visit yesterday from Sen Rafayel. She has operated a small clinic there for over 30 years. We provide an updated student list every September and she provides consult, diagnosis and meds for our youth. Once a year we do an accounting. Her concerns were 3 fold:
  • number and extent of dental needs
  • the worsening malnutrition ( as if it could get worse)
  • the debilitating anemia everyone suffers.
All these health issues are related, of course. We will do our best to implement food and water distribution for the school year. We really have to wait until we have a vehicle in order to transport up the mountain.

Lack of vehicle affects book program Sen Rafayel
The hunt continues for our own vehicle (see vehicle safety post), but good used vehicles are very scarce. Also because the public vehicles which travel the mountain are so unsafe and frequently anpan, not to mention targets for robbery, at our weekly meeting on Friday, staff decided to delay implementing the book project in Sen Rafayel until next year when we hopefully will have a vehicle. Rosenie and Edwina travelled yesterday to pick up the books which Claudy and Louisena packed. They will return today.

Auguste just phoned to say that Brunie Gilles in Sen Rafayel has managed to find a place to stay in Cap-Haitien, and will come down Monday morning in order to take the summer Premed course with Alland and Wisly. She wants to enter nursing.

And on that note, have a great July 13th! (sandwiched in between Bastille day and Orangemans Day)

Ala pwochen

A thought about poverty and the poor . . .
I overheard a conversation last week in which "the problem of the poor" and "the poverty problem" were being discussed.

The poor of Haiti (and by extension, of the world) are the most innovative and creative people on the planet when it comes to solving seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all adjusted our consciousness to see 'the poor' as the resource needed to solve 'the poverty problem' rather than the problem itself?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Life in Haiti, Water, Food, Work Programs, and Loren, our orphaned neighbor

Hello, Everyone,

It is midweek and we have (gras a dye) ELECTRICITY. That deserves capital letters. Quite possibly it will be a memory by the time this sentence is completed, but at this moment, it is cause for celebration!

Haiti Culture and Customs
Auguste was thrilled (byen kontan) to see his stories on the new Haiti Culture page of the Starthrower website. When I asked Auguste to write about his life in Haiti, I had forgotten that of course he does not have paper and pen in the ti kay (little house) that he shares with the 2 sisters he is putting through school.

Auguste told me he wrote all weekend. His stories are written on many scraps of paper, each one numbered for my benefit. I will find a plastic box (to keep out rats, mice and cockroaches) and give him writing supplies. (FYI Electricity just went out -- running on solar now.)

Summer Jobs in Haiti
Summer has arrived in all its glory (heat, heat and more heat). That means our student work force is with us. It also means heat rash and vision constantly compromised by salty perspiration. Although our employee numbers are pared down for financial reasons, I was still shocked on Monday morning when 18 young people walked through our portail; Usually, we have 5.

These kids live in the most unsafe, unsanitary conditions imaginable, yet they show up here chattering and laughing, happy to be with each other, knowing they are among the few lucky enough to have work. They keep me grounded. (There are times however, when the introvert in me counts down to the end of the work day and their departure.)

Sponsored Students, Report Card Fees. Wait List
Starthrower had 359 student visitors come through our portail (door) in June. That number will escalate this month as many students are finding themselves unable to secure the release of report cards (kane-yo) due to unpaid fees. Until these fees are paid, no reports or exam results are released to the students.

Unfortunately, we are rarely able to help play catch up; however we do add their names to our wait list in the event of a windfall -- ours or theirs! (Electricity is back -- unplug the inverter- welcome to our world!) When these students are not able to provide us with their reports (mandatory to be considered for Starthrower sponsorship), Auguste does a preliminary interview, and takes down some information.

Then at the second interview (if and when they are able to provide us with their report cards), he takes all their family history and appropriate papers are shared. Auguste does the preliminary screening, and together we interview as we get closer to 'offering a contract' that all our students sign before being accepted for Starthrower sponsorship. Because our work is about doing justice, nothing is handed to our youth. We share this journey, Starthrower and students both having responsibilities.

Programs and Projects
I realize I often talk about programs and projects but neglect to inform you about the difference. When I began to travel to Haiti on a frequent basis, many years ago, I was drawn to the area of education, most likely because I had been a teacher for 20 years, and education seemed of primary importance.

By supporting those first few youngsters in Sen Rafayel, I gained the needed insight into the reality of Haiti. It is a country of orphans, so education by itself wasn't enough. They needed the care a parent provides -- food, medicine, housing, clothing, school supplies, etc.

As we settled into the centre, and more and more young people began coming in to ask us for help, I hired Auguste. And hiring Auguste -- in effect, creating for him an internship program in Administration -- also gave me some much needed time for reflection.

As these "parenting needs" presented themselves, Auguste and I talked about possible solutions. For example, the text book reclamation project was so successful the first year, after discussion with those who had participated, and making tweaks to job descriptions, we hired Rosenie part time to continue throughout the year. A project had become a program.

Project and Program Development
Similarly, as Auguste tutors, counsels, makes home visits, liaises with all school administrations, prepares all lists for Sen Rafayel and Cap-Haitien, and creates displays for both locations, he had insufficient time to oversee those who were in need of medical/dental referrals. And so, we hired Jhennie for a 6 month project -- January to June.

We did the same with food distribution: Hiring Dieugrand full time and Erzilia to assist him with purchasing, packaging and distributing food sacks and potable water. Both projects ended in June and we sat down in separate groups and discussed the pros and cons, successes and failure.

Consequently, the Potable Water project, Food Distribution Project and the Good Health project are now permanent programs. Erzilia has replaced Jhennie, who has gone to help a sister in the Dominican Republic. Erzilia continues with food/water distribution, though they are scaled down for the summer months.

Throughout the summer, we are providing potable (safe) water to everyone, but providing food only to those attending summer school. Thanks to a donation from the UK, Alland and Wisly will begin the premed summer school program next Monday in the hopes of gaining entrance to a Haitian university.

Rosenie and Edwina will travel back to Sen Rafayel on Monday to implement the book reclamation project for 2 months. Claudy has already hired the 3 students we decided upon. We will meet in September to discuss, review and decide on future actions.

Apprenticeship Program Under Review
We continually examine what works and what doesn't. Our apprenticeship program is now on temporary project status as we had four students who were left without work when the "bosses" we had contracted left town in Oct/Nov. We had just paid for the new year, so that money was lost.

The affected students were told to find a new boss in the same field and we would again interview and contract starting in January. They didn't come back until June, saying they were now ready. We never make decisions for someone's life choices. We offer support, discussion, perspective, and the young people know this. We are not scrapping the idea of apprenticeship with a master craftsman; however, we are leaning more toward supporting trade school training.

Escalating Costs for Rice
Erzilia and Rosenie just returned from the market, purchasing supplies for our summer school students. A large sack of rice is now $500.00 Haitian (and rising) or $71.50 USD. If we were to restart our full program in Cap-Haitien now, and begin a similar project in Sen Rafayel, it would require $700 USD per week. Lets hope things settle down by September.

Meet Loren . . .
In closing, let me introduce you to another of Haiti's children. We have a recently arrived neighbour. His name is Loren and he is 4 years old. He began coming to our portail a few weeks ago asking for mangoes. He is quite loquacious -- what some would call an old soul. He told us that his parents were dead -- both killed in a bus accident.

His grandmother was his "paran" now. He loves to colour, skip rope (as only a 4 year old can) and 'read' books. Then 2 weeks ago, he came over for a visit and told us that his gran had been killed in a flood. We had a storm go through and the water near Gonaive flooded (lamer te plen -- literally, the sea was full). His gran was in a tap tap going to visit her son to ask for help. She and many others drowned.

I spoke to the daughter-in-law a few days after the funeral. Like most Haitians, they have no money to cover funeral costs and are at a loss as to what to do with Loren because they do not have 'moyen ekonomik' (economic means) to raise him.

Variations of this story happen day after day here. Every statistic you read is about real people, real children who laugh and cry and just want a chance.

One at a time. . .

lape (in peace)


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Plumbers, Dentists, Laundromats, Donations, Shipping, Schools and other Haiti News

Hello Everyone!
For some reason, one of my email accounts won't let me access messages, and I know that there were several messages awaiting replies. I will keep trying, but bear with me, please.

The week has been busy! The plumber finally arrived Thursday. He solved the problem of the major leak in the new sink and taps by cementing it shut. We now have no leak because we have no water flow. However, we were able to turn the water back on in the house so can now flush toilets, boil water for washing.

Dental problems continue to plague us
Ganel came down from Sen Rafayel on Wednesday, in great pain. He has family here in Cap-Haitien, so he stayed with them for a couple of nights. We sent him to the dental clinic at the hospital. Unfortunately, all they do there is pull teeth (rache), and so he lost 3 of his.

Claudy is having the same problems but has no family here. Se Ginette (Soeur Ginette) who is our medical dispensary support in Sen Rafayel throughout the school year, has found a dentist whose practice is in Pignon and who is willing to come to Sen Rafayel on Saturday mornings throughout the school terms and do a clinic. If funds allow, we will try this as a project (pwoje) for the first trimeste then evaluate. This still doesn't help for the summer months, and we still have no solution for dental services in Cap-Haitien.

Does anyone know of a visiting dentist willing to do a clinic here this summer?

Laundromat in Cap-Haitien
Washing by hand here at the house, three times a week, is very labour intensive and Joceline doesn't have the strength to wring towels etc. by hand. We have a laundromat in Cap-Haitien, so I stopped in last week to check it out, get the hours of operation and prices. It is very clean, and they offer pressing on site as well. It is powered by generator.

On Friday, Joceline and I went in with 2 loads. She was amazed with everything, including the taxi ride. To watch the emotions of awe and joy at the workings of a laundromat reminded me again of the privileged world in which I walk when not here. In Canada, I complain about walking to the laundromat.

This week Joceline will strike out on her own, going to the laundromat on half price Tuesday and Friday, in the taxi with Jackson (subject to change at a moment's notice). Jackson picked us up at the laundromat on Friday announcing the machin (car) was en pan (broken down) and he had spent the intervening hour in the garage because pa gen clutch (doesn't have a clutch.) He proceeded to prove that he didn't have a clutch on the trip home! Joceline will also be introduced to the workings of a cell phone as she will need to phone Jackson when ready to come home.

Cell Phones for Safety
We have 2 cell phones at the house, both for staff use. One is Comcel; the other, Digicel. When staff members are away from the house, we always send a phone with them for safety. For example:
  • when Rosenie, Erzilia and Edwina went to Sen Rafayel
  • when staff go to the market for book repair supplies
  • when Dieugrand is purchasing potable water and food supplies
  • when we sent Kenson to Carfoumoustik for radyograf (xray)
There are times when we need more than 2 cell phones, so we have paid half of the purchase price for Jack, Auguste, and Carmene to have a personal phone, with the understanding that it is also used when they are working. We purchase one time card per month for each staff member, and they can charge batteries here with the solar power. Which phone we send depends on which one has a full charge. Our phone number here at the house is entered into each one. I guess we have our own LAN!

Shipping and Things We Need.
In response to a couple of emails, I'll make a general response here. As much as we appreciate the thought and the support, there are a couple of reasons why I ask folks not send donated items unless they are urgently needed.

Urgent supplies
Multivitamins, vitamin C, protein powder, protein bars, pencil cases, note books, back packs, pencil sharpeners, pens. Everything else can be purchased here if sufficient funds available.

Thanks so much to Starthrower Sue in the UK for understanding that our most pressing need is financial -- for schooling, water and food programs, medical and dental, etc. With donations, and proceeds from fundraisers, etc., we should be able to continue the potable water distribution program in Cap-Haitien, and to begin the 6 month trial potable water project in Sen Rafayel. Financial donations will also allow us to plan and implement food distribution in Sen Rafayel for September, and to reintroduce the food distribution program here in Cap-Haitien.

Schools all have different start dates and so we implement programs according to the start of the term, by grade. At year end, each grade writes exams at different times, so this year, we ceased distribution using those dates as our guideline. The ideal, of course, is to have enough funds to feed these young people year round, as well as enough to pay for summer school which everyone requests.

Summer School
We have had to say "No" to summer school this summer. This is very unfortunate, as the extra class time gives the students a head start for the coming year. Summer school would also help them gain acceptance at a Haitian university, as opposed to having to go out of Haiti. Even though the few sponsors we have are OK with our students who do go out of country, we know that this is not the ideal solution. With your assistance, we will be able to do do more to keep these young people home to study.

Dominican Republic, University exams
Next week Marlene and Elorge will travel to Santiago in the Dominican Republic to write entrance exams on July 17th for the Intensive Spanish Program at Pontificia Universite Catholica Madre y Maestra. If accepted, they will be placed according to results. We are still awaiting a reply from our last email to the university, requesting the amount of their current fees, as those provided were from 2005-06. This is one of the challenges of intermittent internet access. The last reply took 2 weeks before we could access it due to signal interference.

Deles and Vincent are still awaiting their exam results. It is proving very difficult for them to go back to Sen Rafayel and sit and do nothing after the busy university schedule. They both asked for summer school but we just didn't have the money.

Home Visits Appointments
Auguste and I have been assembling a time table for home visits during July and August. The custom in Haiti is to make an appointment to visit someone, and then, when you arrive at the designated time, to again ask permission to come in and visit. The host's situation may have changed since the appointment was made, and now the time may not be convenient.

There are many homes that we didn't visit last year as there are a large number of zones that taxi drivers will NOT enter for security reasons. Also there are many places a taxi cannot physically enter as the road is in too poor shape, and the car is too low and has no 4 wheel drive. [We continue to scour the country for an appropriate vehicle. Our rental agent, M Brutus, is looking for a vehicle for us in Miami while his wife awaits the birth of their 2nd child there. Apparently he is able to navigate customs.]

Haiti Culture
As we talked about the home visits, Auguste recounted a recent difficult decision he had to make regarding a visitor (known to staff) who showed up without an appointment, expecting to enter. This put Auguste in an uncomfortable position. Ultimately, Auguste let the visitor come in but he was really torn about this decision, as I had not first let him know to expect someone. The customs in Haiti are so different from North America.

As I thought about this and our own visits to students homes, I thought about the Haitians beautiful customs and that perhaps this is an opportunity to introduce more of Haiti culture to you through the eyes of a Haitian.

And so, Auguste has agreed to write detanzantan (from time to time) and ti pislin (a little at a time), explaining some of the customs, culture and history of this amazing country. I will translate his essays, and let you know when they are posted on the web site. I am only sorry we can't show his delivery -- He is a born story teller!

(Update July 8, 2008 ~ The first of Auguste's Haiti culture and customs articles is posted at Starthrower Foundation Haiti Culture

Kenbe red ala pwochen

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

More Violence in Cap-Haitien and Sen Rafayel

Hello Everyone,

The hydro just came on again so I am sending on some news about what's happened in the past few days. It seems lawlessness here is at an all time high.

In Cap-Haitien:
  • A 23year-old kidnapped from our katye was killed as her parents had no money to pay ransom.
  • A doctor kidnapped from the corner paid $50,000.00 US for his freedom.
  • A friend of Jack's was kidnapped last night while riding a taptap; the same ransom demand ($50,000). He has 2 small children, no job.
And in Sen Rafayel:
The Caisse Populaire( village bank) in Sen Rafayel was robbed by 6 men on Monday. As in the past, the police hid in the station. The local priest (the same priest who charges folks for communion) has a radio station. He told everyone listening that a robbery was taking place.

The villagers pursued the 6 (who are known kidnappers). The villagers had machetes; the robbers, guns. One robber was killed, 2 are imprisoned, 3 got away with all money. Several villagers were killed, and Jack's cousin, who led the charge, was shot in the derriere. He was brought by taptap down the mountain to Lopital Justinien. The doctors recommended surgery to remove the bullet, and gave him prescriptions for pain meds. He had no money so the doc's discharged him.

Jack and his brother Wisky both said they had never seen someone in such pain. He travelled back to Sen Rafayel on kamyonet. He needs $700 Haitian or $100.00 US for the surgery. I can't believe the magistrate is not helping, or the doctors, for that matter. I have said we would pay the surgery costs so am waiting to hear back.

Perhaps someone who reads this would like to help pay for his surgery?

We are still desperately seeking a vehicle to purchase. In the meantime, we only use one taxi -- Jackson's. If he is not available, I stay put. This morning he informed me that he will not stop for anyone else if I am in the car and he does not have his brother for security. Good to know I am taken care of.

Pi ta

Update 3:30p.m. EDT

Alland (He came Monday asking for food) is just leaving. We sent him to the clinic yesterday, results came today. He has malaria, anemia , UTI. Auguste and I had diagnosed this even before we sent him.

We will see illnesses increase now, with the end of food distribution program. Poor kid is so sick. He just finished Philo, and wants to be a doctor. Two local physicians have started a summer course for students wanting to enter medical school in Haiti.

A great idea but $100.00 US plus books, uniform. We just don't have it but it would be a great test. If he got in to medical school, we would know the system can be changed.


Related Posts with Thumbnails